View more on these topics

Time to treat advisers like grown-up

Prior to placing business with product providers, I was obliged to furnish them with details of both my company and its registration with the FSA.

Subsequent to obtaining notification of my agency number and the return of my signed agreement to their terms and conditions, I was accepted as a suitable person/company to introduce business and to service existing business. Why, therefore, are many companies paranoid about releasing details of client plans to me?

Either I am a responsible and proper person to be informed about plan details or I am not. If I am not, why am I approved by the FSA and hold an agency agreement with the provider?

Surely the time has come for us to adopt a grown-up attitude. As a registered IFA and the holder of an agency agreement with the provider, let’s cut out the pointless, time-wasting insistence on the provider holding a current client authority before disclosing information to me.

In our industry, policies are written on the basis of the utmost good faith, that is, full disclosure of relevant facts is made available in order that fair and proper contract is underwritten and secured.

In my capacity as an IFA, I am expected to ensure that proposal form questions are asked properly and answered correctly. Therefore, both parties rely on my integrity.

If, later, the policy becomes subject of complaint or dispute, who should face the consequences? The client, the provider or the pig in the middle who sold it?

If the provider is prepared to accept my integrity to act without favour or bias, then shouldn’t the provider indemnify me against misselling by including me in their PI insurance?

“Ridiculous, heresy – such lunacy could have an adverse effect on our personal bonus,” I hear being wailed from provider boardrooms. Ah, heated and vehement interest, no apathy over this.

To recap. My IFA firm is approved and regulated. As an approved and regulated individual, I can conduct financial services business. Yet, unless the provider holds a current client authority for me, then the provider does not consider me suitable to be given plan details. But I and my firm are expected to conduct business on behalf of the provider because we are considered approved and suitable.

However, should there be any errors or mistakes, then it must be my fault and even if maturity values do not equal client expectations or company projections, the provider will not bear the blame which must be the responsibility of the greedy client or the fraudulent, misleading advice given by the seller. “It’s an equitable life, Henry.”

Martin BlackieMartin Blackie Financial Services,




Investment View: Put America on the map

Last week had a global feel about it so far as I was concerned. Aside from the spectacle of England regaining the Ashes from a cricket-mad nation on the other side of the world, I was privileged to receive presentations on the US and Japan from leading investment houses.

McCarthy warns of July 7 lessons

The FSA chairman has warned the financial industry to learn lessons from the 7 July London bombings and be fully prepared for future attacks. Speaking at Mansion House earlier this week Sir Callum McCarthy urged businesses to ensure they have adequate back up arrangements. He also said too much comment was guilty of “gross oversimplification” […]

Concern over special sits split

Skandia is in discussions with Morgan Stanley over concerns that clients in a structured product linked to Fidelity special situations could be disadvantaged by the portfolio being split. Morgan Stanley underwrites the capital guarantee on the Skandia protected portfolio, which took in millions of pounds and gives exposure to a basket of funds, including Anthony […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm